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A Man and a Boy Are Injured as Their Truck Smashes Into a Canal in The Mondex

| December 13, 2010

The 2003 Ford F150 XL literally flew across the length of the canal and hit the embankment on the other side of the road before crashing down toward the water. (© FlaglerLive)

The 2003 Ford F150 XL literally flew across the length of the canal and hit the embankment on the other side of the road before crashing down toward the water. (© FlaglerLive)

William “Billy” Dunson, 34, was at the wheel of his Ford pick-up truck, a white 2003 F150 XL, at 8:55 Sunday evening. With him was 10-year-old Kyle. They were driving north down Avocado Blvd. in Daytona North (also known as the Mondex). The boulevard, is paved until it turns to dirt where it dead-ends against Canal Avenue. There’s a stop sign there.

Canal Avenue is so called because it parallels a canal, or a drainage ditch, some 18 to 20 feet below its shoulder. There’s no guard rail there, no indication of a drop-off except the sparse brush that picks up where the dirt road ends. Dunson isn’t unaware of the layout: he lives in the neighborhood, according to neighbors. For whatever reason, he didn’t stop. There were no signs of breaking or turning. Just straight tire marks on the dirt, going across the canal. The truck literally flew the 30 to 35 feet distance across the canal, smashed against the embankment on the other side, then crashed down in the foot or so of water, mud and weeds.

Jennifer DiEdwardo heard it all. So did her husband Anthony. She was getting ready to rest in her room. He was watching “At Close Range” on television, a 1986 father-son movie (with Christopher Walken playing Sean Penn’s father).

Jennifer and Anthony DiEdwardo, who live nearby, heard the crash and were first on the scene, calling 911 and attempting to help the victims. (© FlaglerLive)

“I was in my room and I heard a crash, then I heard another crash,” Jennifer said. “I came out of my room, and I asked him if he heard it, and he said he heard it, so I grabbed his cell phone and ran out to the end of the driveway and I didn’t see anything, and something told me to walk down toward the canal, and the closer I got to the canal, I seen the tire tracks going straight in, and then the closer I got to the canal I seen the headlights to the truck. They were on. He was about 50 yards behind me and I screamed for him, and he jumped out in there and I called 911.”

“I was right behind her and when she yelled ‘It’s a wreck!,’ ran down there,”  Anthony said, describing the scene while the truck was still in the canal, and wreckers hooking it up to a to truck. “The truck was higher up out of the water than what it is right now, so I was able—I jumped down here, went down the side, jumped in the back, and then as I got closer we realized it was a little kid and not a little girl that was yelling, a little boy. He was pinned up. He was actually pinned underneath on the floorboard, kind of bent over the seat with the steering wheel column and the dash on his back, so he was pinned up, and then the male, Billy, he was actually laying across the seat, out like a light.”

“I was trying to talk to the little boy,” Anthony said, “and he was wanting his boy, and when I realized who it was an all, I was telling Jennifer, she went and got our neighbor, and then there’s another guy, John, that lives down here on the next block, who knows them. We were trying to find somebody that they knew could get a hold of the boy’s mom. They live off of Avocado.”

Within minutes of Jennifer’s 911 call, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper was at the scene, as were rescuers. Kyle was taken by ambulance to Halifax Hospital. Dunson was flown there by helicopter after being taken to the landing zone at the Hidden Trails Community Center’s grounds. They did not have life-threatening injuries. FHP investigators at the scene had not determined the cause of the crash beyond the basics: Dunson had failed to stop at the stop sign. Neither the man nor the boy in the truck was wearing a seatbelt.

“Charges are pending,” Lt. Bill Leeper, an FHP spokesman, said early Monday afternoon.

John Boggs, another Canal Avenue resident, said he pulled two people out of the canal after wrecks in the past. “One in front of West Side Baptist Church,” Boggs remembered, “a gentleman that worked at Walmart, Palm Coast, then an old lady, she sat in the water for an hour and 45 minutes on February 16 of 2007.” He said he crawled down in the ditch and pulled her out. “See, that’s what gets me. On Canal Avenue, at the end of these roads, there should be a guard rail. That could have prevented something. That might have prevented something. Maybe not, but I think they should do that because, you know, we can’t see. When you’re driving up here on that side, you can’t see nothing.”

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18 Responses for “A Man and a Boy Are Injured as Their Truck Smashes Into a Canal in The Mondex”

  1. wsh302 says:

    in photo #8 were they soda cans on the passenger side floor? i don’t think alcohol and speed played a part.. i think it was the lack of lighting and guard rail protection.

    • Flaglerlive says:

      To be precise, those were two beer cans. However, it’d be entirely speculative — short of FHP’s findings — to connect the cans to the wreck, especially since the driver lives a few blocks away: the cans were just as likely to have been there long before the wreck.

  2. Barney Smythe says:

    Lack of lighting and guardrails? Really?? He lives in the area and knows the area. Sounds more like a case of ‘Here’s your sign”!!

  3. Jennifer and Anthony DiEdo says:

    we believe we did what any body else would do. We a r just so thankful we heard it happen. If not we could only imagine how long the would have been there. Riding by u cant really see down in the canal!! Our hearts go out to billy and kyle and their familys. God bless them and we hope they make great recoveries.

  4. Jennifer and Anthony DiEdwardo says:

    sorry i cant type very well. i miss spelled our last name

  5. pills are evil says:

    billy got a little too much of the sauce again maybe?…

  6. wsh302 says:

    if his bac is found to be considered dui than i wonder if he will be charge with endangering the welfare of his son. barney, i was being facetious, I don’t think anyone drinks beer in their house and then puts the empties in their vehicle. I made enough DUI arrests to indicate to me that more than likely they were consuming in the vehicle.

  7. Barney Smythe says:

    wsh302..

    It’s still a case of ‘Hee Hee..Here’s your sign’ for the driver. Guess there were no mudbogging events going on.

  8. WHAT DOES IT MATTER says:

    SO NOW WE ARE PASSING JUDGMENT BEFORE KNOWING THE FACTS. UTTERLY GROSS. LETS NOT STOP TO CHECK AND UP DATE THE STATUS ON THE 2 LETS JUST JUMP RIGHT INTO PASSING JUDGMENT. HAS ANYONE STOP TO CHECK & SEE IF THE DRIVER MAY HAVE HAD HARM DONE TO HIM AND WAS TRYING TO GET HELP. THEN TO POINT OUT THE BEER CANS IN THE PASSENGER SIDE. REALLY, IF THIS MAN GET CHARGED WITH A DUI OR OPEN CONTAINERSI HAVE A REAL BIG PROBLEM WITH THE HIGHWAY PATROL. AND I WILL VOICE MY OPINION VERY LOUD. THIS IS SOMETHING I SHOULD HAVE BEEN DOING A LONG TIME AGO. WHY, YOU MAY ASK I WAS A VICTIM OF A DUI ACCIDENT. A MAN IN A COMPANY TRUCK CROSSED THREW 2 LANES OF TRAFFIC TO ENTER A DO NOT ENTER; AND PULLING FRONT OF ME CAUSING ME TO T-BONE HIM. HE HAD HIS 2 KIDS IN THE TRUCK THAT END UP ROLLING OVER. MYSELF & MY SON BOTH SUFFERED & STILL SUFFER FROM THE INJURIES CAUSED BY THIS MAN. THERE WERE OPEN CONTAINERS IN SIDE THE CAB & A BED FULL OF TRASH BEING EMPTY BEER CANS, AND EMPTY BEER BOXES ALONG WITH PILL BOTTLES THAT DID NOT HAVE LABELS ON THEM & THE EMT’S WERE NOT ABLE TO ID THE PILLS. THERE WAS BLOOD TEST DONE & THE MAN WAS WELL OVER THE LIMIT AND NEVER GOT CHARGED. WHY BECAUSE THE GREAT HIGHWAY PATROL OFFICER FELT THAT THERE WAS NO REASON TO CHARGE HIM BECAUSE THE BEER WAS WARM. TOTAL BULL SHIT. IF THE GOVERNMENT WOULD STEP UP AND DO THE RIGHT THING INSTEAD OF BEING CROOKS THEN I WOULD NOT BE BITCHING, BUT IF THE COUNTY COULD PUT UP GUARDRAIL TO HELP PREVENT SUCH SERIOUS ACCIDENTS & INJURIES I WOULD NOT BE ON HERE ONCE AGAIN. BUT BECAUSE THE WRECKER COMPANIES DON’T WANT THAT BECAUSE THEY WOULD HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE COUNTY TO ARRIVE TO CUT THE RAIL BEFORE REMOVING A WRECK. WOW LETS THINK MAYBE THEY WOULD NOT NEED TO REMOVE SO MANY OUT OF THE CANAL IF THEY RAIL WAS IN PLACE. BUT THAT WOULD CUT INTO THEIR POCKETS FOR MAKING MONEY. TOTAL BS. I AM SORRY THAT THE KID GOT HURT, BUT FOR REAL DOES ANYONE HAVE THE FACTS YET. GUESS NOT BECAUSE THE FHP ARE STILL INVESTIGATING. GONNA BE INTERESTING TO SEE WHAT THE OUT COME IS.
    I WILL BE WAITING.
    DONT GET ME WRONG I DO KNOW WHAT IS RIGHT AND IF THE DRIVER WAS IN THE WRONG FINE, HE SHOULD GET WHAT IS COMING TO HIM ALONG WITH THE MOTHER OF THE CHILD FOR LETTING HIM RIDE WITH A PERSON THAT WAS NOT SAFE WHETHER HE WAS DRUNK OR HURT NEEDING HELP. BUT THIS IS MY CHANCE TO VOICE HOW I GOT SCREWED BECAUSE THE OFFICER WAS LAZY AND DID NOT WANT TO DO HIS JOB. I DID RESEARCH THIS BACK THEN & THE OFFICER HAD BEEN KNOW TO DO THIS & NOTHING WAS EVER DONE ABOUT HIS LACK OF WILL TO PREFORM HIS JOB. AND BE MORE OR LESS A NOBODY THEY WOULD NOT LISTEN TO ME.

  9. kyles mom says:

    people are to quick to judge,billy would never hurt my son hes like his dad.he was not drunk when they left the house 15 mins before the crash.kyle is improving every day and is verry strong kid. so if u dont have anything nice to say then shut up n stay out of it!!!

  10. Flagler Man says:

    How is the child child, Kyle? I was there, part of the FD doing the rescue. My heart goes out to Kyle and his family. Personel at FCFR are thinking about Kyle everyday and wishing for a speedy recovery. God Bless

  11. to what does it matter... says:

    typinc in caps locks will not make you any more right or wrong…just shows your an attention freak for one…

    but to those that know billy dunson–hes not fooling anyone….i do feel bad for the child-but anyone allowing a 10 yr old boy in his truck knowing his history and current usual state of mind–is insane

    someone who drinks as much as him is still in a cloud when sober anyway–for those brief moments in time therye sober-they still exhibit motor control and reaction issues..theyre just not currently drunk

    ever seen a recovering dopehead?–theyre still a mess a month later-but clean

  12. IknowaThingorTwo says:

    @ WHAT DOES IT MATTER…..In your case you say there was a blood test done. Usually charges are pending until the results of the test are known which isn’t immediate. If the test comes back that there was a high BAC (blood alcohol content) then the charges are forwarded to the State Attorneys Office.
    I am guessing that if he wasn’t charged it may not be the troopers fault since once charges are forwarded it is out of his hands. You can always request a copy of the report to see if this is the case.

  13. from kyle says:

    billy would never hurt me on purpose,hes the best step dad i ever had.and i cant wait to see him again .so to all the people who is saying mean things need to shut up .my family n i should be seeing nothing but prayers and wishes.I want to thank the people who helped me and billy from the bottom of my heart. and my doctor told me that i should be home by the end of weekend. so thank you for all the prayers!!!!!!!

  14. Native says:

    The mom is so right. Her husband IS just like his dad. Many, many years ago his dad did the same thing. The local newspaper published a photo of his wrecked truck and about 200 beer cans strewn about the road that came out of the bed of the truck. If my memory serves me correct, little Billy was in the truck. History ironically has repeated itself. How sad. My prayers are with Kyle for a speedy recovery and with Billy to get some help if he needs it. God Bless.

  15. Anonymous says:

    kyle most drunks who kill dont do it on purpose–this is why they get vehiculur manslaughter-not murder…

    but people like him kill others on the road everyday..everyones glad your ok…..but noones surprised at what happened…

    the ones that found out that know him the best showed the least amount of surprise-what does that tell you?

    ask him what “the brown bottle flu” is—its his own little joke about his hangovers he had at work–which he had often.

    best wishes for a great holiday

  16. Anonymous says:

    oh and kyle-saying hes the best stepdad you ever had-well i have a great stepdad-and he never almost got me killed driving off the end of a road into a ditch…

  17. Jennifer DiEdwardo says:

    Everyone is quick to judge a book by its cover. But do u really know what happened? any of u. I didnt think so, so we all should be here putting our thoughts and prayers with Kyle and Billy. Forget what u think and just remember people were really hurt in this accident and that should be everyones main thought. I hope your feeling better Kyle and Billy. Hope to see yall home soon. My prayers are with you all the way.

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